How To Use Maca Powder And Why You Should
You may have seen Maca powder at your local co-op, heard about it in health magazines, or even have read about its 7 amazing antioxidant powers when you were searching for superfoods online. Maca root (scientifically known as lepidium meyenii) belongs to the cruciferous family that also includes cabbage and broccoli. The maca plant mostly grows in the region of the Andes Mountains in Peru. The most common types of this plant are Black Maca, Yellow Maca, and Red Maca.
Some nutritionists call the Peruvian Maca plant and the extract from its root powder a “superfood”. This plant contains high amounts of vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients that may stabilize hormonal balance, improve energy levels, improve fertility both in men and women, and boost metabolism. Experts like Dr. Josh Axe recommend taking Maca powder because it is also high in calcium (a greater amount than in cow’s milk).
Organic Maca powder: nutrition facts
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of Maca root powder contain the following nutritional profile:
- Carbohydrates – 76.5%;
- Protein – 18%;
- Fiber (indigestible carbohydrates) – 8.5%;
- Fats – 5%;
- More than 20 different amino acids, including 8 essential ones;
- 20 free-form fatty acids (palmitic, lauric, steric, linolenic, and oleic acid);
- Vitamins B-1, B-2, C, and E;
Maca root powder can also be a great natural source of phytonutrients, which are nutrients only found from plant sources.
Top 5 Maca powder benefits
Thanks to all these nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, metals, and other healthy components, Maca powder can offer many benefits like:
Can improve your mood
Several studies claim that daily intake of Maca powder can improve your mood, especially in menopausal women. This is one of the most science-backed Maca benefits, which occurs thanks to a high amount of flavonoids. These components are also capable of reducing depression and anxiety.
Can be a great supplement for bodybuilder and athletes
Taking organic Maca root powder daily may help you gain muscle, boost stamina and strength, and enhance energy and exercise performance.
Can protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays
One study found a connection between the topical application of Maca extract to the skin and its protection from direct sunlight. This protective effect can be achieved thanks to polyphenol antioxidants and glucosinolates. Maca extract may be used as a natural sunscreen remedy for people with hypersensitive skin.
May improve memory and learning ability
Maca powder can positively affect the brain function and children’s performance in school, according to studies done by Peruvian scientists. It seems that Black Maca can be more effective for improving cognitive functions than other types.
Can boost antioxidants
Acting as a natural antioxidant source, Maca root may boost the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione in your blood. These 2 particular antioxidants are recognized as the “disease fighters” in a human body.
How can you use raw Maca powder?
If you are wondering “Where can I buy Maca powder?”, there are 2 available options – online and in health food stores (in a powder form) or local drugstores (in Maca root pills). This extract is available in a powder form, Maca capsules, and liquid. Experts recommend buying Maca only from quality Peruvian harvesters who may ensure it is 100% pure organic and raw Maca root powder.
Maca supplements and powder come in different colors due to the plant’s color from which it was extracted. It is believed that different types of Maca root powder can provide unique benefits, though this theory hasn’t been yet backed by science.
Health care specialists can’t recommend a particular serving size of Maca root powder that has to be taken daily. In the Andes Mountains, locals may consume up to a pound of fresh or dried Maca root per day. The manufacturers of Maca capsules claim that it is safe to take from 1 to 20 grams of Maca powder per day.
Some nutritionists recommend taking Maca powder from 1 tablespoon daily, gradually increasing the dose up to 2-3 tablespoons throughout the day. Many athletes prefer taking Maca before exercising because it may boost stamina and increase energy.
Health benefits of Maca root for women
According to TheMacaTeam.Com, various types of Maca plants can deliver special medical benefits to different genders. For example, the types of Maca for women can deliver benefits like:
- Enhanced energy and increased stamina (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Faster hair growth (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Improved skin tone (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Prevention of osteoporosis (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Protection of thyroid health (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Boosted libido (Red Maca);
- Improved fertility (Red Maca);
- A normal balance of hormones during menopause (Red Maca).
Health benefits of Maca root for men
Different types of Maca for men can deliver benefits like:
- Enhanced energy and stamina (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Boosted libido and improved erectile dysfunction (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Better teeth and stronger bones (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Faster hair growth (Black, Yellow, Red Maca);
- Faster building of muscles (Black Maca);
- Improved fertility (Black Maca);
- Protection of prostate health (Red Maca).
Possible side effects of Maca root powder
Commonly, Maca root powder doesn’t cause any harmful side effects and may be consumed safely for many years.
However, health care specialists working in the WebMD team warn that people who need to take hormone-altering medications for the treatment of breast or prostate cancer should not consume maca root during that time. Hypertension may also prevent you from taking Maca powder.
A recent study states that Maca powder can be harmful to pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The team at NutritionData.Self.Com also claims that Maca powder provides a high amount of calories from sugars that can be potentially dangerous.
How to add Maca extract to your daily diet
- Maca powder is considered the most beneficial when taken during a breakfast;
- Some experts recommend not to heat or microwave Maca powder before eating. For example, don’t add it to baked foods;
- The powdered form of Maca root can replace sugar, thanks to its natural sweetness (similar to nutmeg or cinnamon);
- Maca powder can be a good component for fruit smoothies, cereal, or oatmeal.
Taking Maca root powder can be beneficial for your health. However, if you notice any signs of allergic reactions or side effects from using this supplement, seek medical assistance.